Commissioner Workman is the only experienced politician of the Little Rascals. Here, briefly is his resume:
- BA Political Science, St Cloud State
- Served as an Intern for US Representative Arlan Stangeland
- Chanhassen City Council, 1989-1992
- Minnesota Regional Transit Board, 1991-1992
- Minnesota House of Representatives, 1993-2002
- Carver County Commissioner, 2002-present
In short, he’s been around. So one has to wonder why he would throw in his lot with a bunch of rookies and let them maneuver him into running such a terrible campaign.
Frank Long, Jim Walter, and Vince Beaudette have never run for office or won an election in their lives, so they can get a little bit of leeway from me when it comes to making stupid political moves. I’ll even go as far to say that maybe they are just plain scared to answer hard questions, or maybe they have something to hide, but Workman ought to know better.
Ernie Leididger later jumped on the boycott bandwagon, but we know will face plenty of uncomfortable questions he doesn’t want to answer. And, since Ernie once endorsed him, we should probably add three-time loser Bruce Schwichtenberg to the list as well; Frank Long was his campaign manager, and he has had lots of free time since the Primary. (Note to self: find a suitable Little Rascals character for Schwichtenberg – any suggestions?)
To be fair, the Chanhassen Villager reports that Beaudette was going to participate
in the forum until the other three talked him into joining the boycott. To also be fair, Beaudette called out Maluchnik on the GOP website, but won’t face him in a LWV forum. This is cowardly.
It is difficult to explain why Workman would hitch his wagon to such a mess, and wouldn’t instead try to guide these newbies out of the woods.
Instead he is being out-campaigned by another newcomer, Cheryl Ayotte of Chanhassen. She has successfully pointed out Workman’s potential conflict of interest, working as a lobbyist in St Paul and possibly lobbying against the interests of Carver County while on the Board of Commissioners. (And lobbying for the Met Council!) And then followed up with his dismal attendance record while serving on the Transportation Advisory Board. He couldn’t even show up for his own Endorsement by the Carver County GOP. She has come out strong and so far he has had no answer.
And he’s not just skipping the League of Women Voters Candidate Forum, but they published and distributed a pages-long rambling tirade announcing their boycott of the forum, and then Workman followed up with an interview in the Villager calling the LWV “desparate” and “The Democratic Party of Carver County” is a political gaffe.
The saddest part of this whole mess is that all of the candidates for Commissioner except Randy Maluchnik are known Republicans. The Brick City Blog pointed out the questions asked at the last forum in 2010, and none of them seem biased or misplaced. And even if they were, EVERYBODY THERE IS A REPUBLICAN, so a liberal question is meaningless.
If you cant answer a question from the League of Women Voters, how are you going to handle an opposing viewpoint from a constituent if you win the chair? Apparently the plan is to call them a partisan hack, and take your ball and go home. This is what the voters think of your boycott: it shows you are not ready to lead.
The incumbants (and John Siegfried) know that part of the job is going to events. When you are invited to the LWV forum, you go. When you are invited to read books at the elementary school, you go. When you are invited to come to the pancake breakfast or the pork chop dinner, or judge the chili cook-off, you go. You go because it is a chance to connect with the people you represent. It is a chance to win over the hearts and minds of the voters.
Sometimes, if you don’t shout at them and call them names, you make a new friend.
Tom Workman, with his 20+ years in office ought to know better.